Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has officially launched the Maphisa community information centre in Matabeleland South as part of governments efforts to bridge the digital gap and initiate access to ICTs creating a powerful telecommunications sector.
The community information centre will provide access to reliable information and access to ICT services for those in remote areas hence bridging the digital gap.
Maphisa Community Information Centre is one of the one hundred and forty-six (146) Community Information Centres established in the ten (10) Provinces of Zimbabwe. To date, one hundred and fourteen (114) of these Community Information Centres are already operational.
Speaking at the launch on Friday Minister of information and communication technology Jenfan Muswere said that the information centre will create access to technologies.
“It is for this reason that we are in full support of the thrust by POTRAZ to bridge the digital divide through the different programmes the Regulator is undertaking, to ensure that those in remote rural areas of our country have access to ICTs, with the Community Information Centres being one such programme.”
The Minister added that its government efforts to digitse the country and enable a technology advanced environment for all citizens considering it as a fundamental element which should be accessed in all parts of the country.
“access to ICTs and effective participation in the digital economy is critical in improving the quality of life for all the citizens of Zimbabwe. It is our wish as Government for all citizens of Zimbabwe to have access to broadband connectivity, including those in rural and low-income communities”
“It is, therefore, of paramount importance that communities are provided with digital content that resonates with their culture and that comes in their language. I therefore call upon the local community of Maphisa to start identifying local content that could be digitised and be made available through the Internet for the benefit of the local community,” he said.
Speaking at the same event POTRAZ Director G.K Machengete said Potraz has unveiled the information centre to support government policy of providing access to information and technology.
“The objective of the Community Information Centre concept is to create centres where the community can access and use ICTs to promote their businesses, advance their education and improve their livelihood.”
The information centre is modernised providing electoral services Machengete said.
“Maphisa Community Information Centre is furnished with modern computers that are connected to the internet. Like all the other CICs, Maphisa CIC provides basic electronic services such as Internet surfing, electronic mail service, printing, scanning, photocopying and document binding for your convenience.”
All these efforts are aimed at ensuring that the people who reside in remote areas of our country are not excluded from the information age by making it easier for them to access ICTs and in order to upgrade their quality of life to the same level as their urban counterparts.